Halifax forward Raphael Lavoie and Lethbridge forward Dylan Cozens are among the top prospects for the 2019 NHL Draft playing in the Canadian Hockey League who've been invited to play in the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.
Forty of the top draft-eligible players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League and Western Hockey League will play in the game, at ENMAX Centrium in Red Deer, Alberta, on Jan. 23.
Players were selected by the 31 NHL teams with input from NHL Central Scouting.
"The Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game provides scouts and general managers the unique opportunity to evaluate talent competing in a best-on-best showcase," NHL Central Scouting director Dan Marr said. "All 31 NHL clubs contributed to the roster selection and have a great interest in this priority scouting event to see which players can elevate their game under the spotlight."
Lavoie (6-foot-3, 191 pounds) has 31 points (14 goals, 17 assists) in 29 QMJHL games. The 18-year-old center was at Hockey Canada's selection camp for the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship before being released Thursday. He received an A rating from Central Scouting in its November players to watch list.
"Big-bodied right-shot winger who can also play in the middle," Central Scouting's Troy Dumville said. "Smart with the puck and has the ability to make plays in tight spaces. He can finish or use his vision to dish to open teammates. Has a high hockey IQ and can play many roles."
Cozens (6-3, 181) has 43 points (16 goals, 27 assists) in 31 WHL games. He also received an A rating from Central Scouting in the November players to watch list.
"He's got huge upside with his size and ability to skate, and he gets behind people all the time," Central Scouting's John Williams said. "As he gets stronger and more physically heavier and faster, and all that comes together, he's going to be a real tough guy to handle."
Lavoie and Cozens are two of 11 players to receive A ratings from Central Scouting, meaning they are possibilities to be selected in the first round of the 2019 Draft.
Others are defensemen Bowen Byram (Vancouver, WHL), Vladislav Kolyachonok (Flint, OHL) and Matthew Robertson (Edmonton, WHL), as well as forwards Kirby Dach (Saskatoon, WHL), Nolan Foote (Kelowna, WHL), Arthur Kaliyev (Hamilton, OHL), Peyton Krebs (Kootenay, WHL), Samuel Poulin (Sherbrooke, QMJHL) and Ryan Suzuki (Barrie OHL).
Foote is the son of two-time Stanley Cup champion Adam Foote, and the younger brother of Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman prospect Callan Foote. Suzuki is the younger brother of Montreal Canadiens forward prospect Nick Suzuki.
The players will be split into two teams by Central Scouting prior to the game, and coaches will be named at a later date.
The Top Prospects Game will be televised live on NHL Network in the United States, and Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada.
CHL/NHL TOP PROSPECTS GAME ROSTER
GOALTENDERS: Colten Ellis, Rimouski (QMJHL); Taylor Gauthier, Prince George (WHL); Hunter Jones, Peterborough (OHL); Mads Sogaard, Medicine Hat (WHL)
DEFENSEMEN: Samuel Bolduc, Blainville-Boisbriand (QMJHL); Bowen Byram, Vancouver (WHL); William Constantinou, Kingston (OHL); Thomas Harley, Mississauga (OHL); Artemi Kniazev, Chicoutimi (QMJHL); Vladislav Kolyachonok, Flint (OHL); Kaedan Korczak, Kelowna (WHL); Jake Lee, Seattle (WHL); Nikita Okhotyuk, Ottawa (OHL); Matthew Robertson, Edmonton (WHL); Lassi Thomson, Kelowna (WHL); Michael Vukojevic, Kitchener (OHL)
FORWARDS: Nikita Alexandrov, Charlottetown (QMJHL); Maxim Cajkovic, Saint John (QMJHL); Joseph Carroll, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL); Graeme Clarke, Ottawa (OHL); Dylan Cozens, Lethbridge (WHL); Kirby Dach, Saskatoon (WHL); Nolan Foote, Kelowna (WHL); Matvey Guskov, London (OHL); Dillon Hamaliuk, Seattle (WHL); Arthur Kaliyev, Hamilton (OHL); Peyton Krebs, Kootenay (WHL); Raphael Lavoie, Halifax (QMJHL); Brett Leason, Prince Albert (WHL); Nathan Legare, Baie-Comeau (QMJHL); Connor McMichael, London (OHL); Sasha Mutala, Tri-City (WHL); Jakob Pelletier, Moncton (QMJHL); Samuel Poulin, Sherbrooke (QMJHL); Jamieson Rees, Sarnia (OHL); Nicholas Robertson, Peterborough (OHL); Ryan Suzuki, Barrie (OHL); Philip Tomasino, Niagara (OHL); Josh Williams, Medicine Hat (WHL); Oleg Zaytsev, Red Deer (WHL)